Aquaculturists, oyster hatchery operators, and local beach
managers require nowcasts and forecasts of harmful biotic events, so
they can assess health threats and decide on beach closures or avoid
harvesting shellfish when harmful algal blooms (HABs) are present in the
Chesapeake Bay. Based on this need, we are developing empirical habitat
suitability models for a variety of HABs to predict their occurrence
based on a set of physical-biogeochemical environmental conditions. I
will present challenges associated with constructing such habitat
suitability models and how they can be used to extend our Chesapeake Bay
Environmental Forecasting System website (www.vims.edu/cbefs) with
real-time forecasts of multiple HAB taxa.
Before Dr. Dante Horemans started as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), he obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees in theoretical physics and a Ph.D. in biology. He has been combining theoretical work and application, including outreach to stakeholders, both in Europe and the U.S.A. Throughout this time, he has been using numerical process-based and statistical models, applied to both physical and biochemical estuarine systems. He is especially intrigued by biophysical interactions and feedback mechanisms, such as the impact of estuarine phytoplankton on suspended sediment through flocculation, which he studied during his Ph.D., as well as the effect of changes in environmental conditions on HABs, which he currently studies at VIMS.
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Old Dominion University
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